News / Arts & Entertainment

    Hotel in Rio Favela Attracts Jazz Enthusiasts

    Hotel in Rio Favela Attracts Jazz Enthusiastsi
    X
    July 11, 2014 6:33 PM
    You might not expect to find a hotel in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas -- the local name for the city's shantytowns. But VOA’s Brian Allen has the unlikely success story of “The Maze.” Though it's located in one of the poorest parts of the city, it has also been named as one of the best places to hear live jazz music in the world.
    Brian Allen

    You might not expect to find a hotel in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas - the local name for the city's shantytowns.  The success story of “The Maze,” though located in one of the poorest parts of the city, it has been named one of the best places to hear live jazz music in the world.

    Nearly everywhere you go in Rio de Janeiro, you’re always close to an informal settlement, or favela.
     
    More than 11 million Brazilians live in these poor communities, famous for the colorful - but often dangerously constructed - buildings, dense population, and in some cases, the drug trade and associated crime.
     
    In hotels, brochures advertise favela tours, next to pamphlets for helicopter rides and boat excursions.
     
    But one man has gone far beyond treating Rio’s favelas as just a tourist adventure: 35 years ago, Bob Nadkarni moved in.
     
    Welcome to The Maze.

    It started as a quiet art studio for the British expatriate.  Slowly, he expanded the space and ultimately opened his sprawling home, with one of the best views of Rio de Janeiro, to friends and family.
     
    “It’s not just a house, it’s a work of art.  It’s a sculpture people live in and find their way through.  It’s called The Maze because it’s a place people come to lose themselves and find themselves,” he said.
     
    Nadkarni was instrumental in helping clean up the Tavares Bastos favela, where The Maze is located.  For years, he said, it was run by gangs and drug lords.  He convinced the controversial favela pacification police to set up shop - permanently.
     
    In 2005, The Maze became a hotel.
     
    “As my wife said, all my friends treat me as a hotel anyway, and I thought, ‘you know, I am a hotel!’ So I built a few more rooms and opened it up and got this going,” he explained.
     
    In recent years, the guesthouse has developed a reputation as a world-renowned jazz club.  DownBeat Magazine, an influential music publication, lists it as one of the “best jazz venues” in the world.
     
    Nadkarni said the now-famous “Jazz Night,” the first Friday of every month, started small.  “We had a party with a few friends of mine playing jazz, 12 people here, and they all liked it so much they suggested we do it again.  So they all brought three friends the next month, and then it was 40 people.  It became geometric, and now I don’t ever get less than 500 people at a jazz night,” he said.
     
    The Maze has raised its prices, trying to keep the attendance manageable - but people still flock in.
     
    For Nadkarni, that’s just what he wants. “I get a house full of all kinds of people. I get a lot of artists and poets and writers and filmmakers and musicians here," he explained. "It’s a place where people meet and exchange ideas and bounce off each other.”
     
    The morning after Jazz Night, life at The Maze is quiet again.  The space is empty and the people are gone - but the gorgeous, panoramic views remain.
     
    And Nadkarni’s wife helps their daughter with her homework - in the same spot that was packed with people and alive with music just hours before.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures